Explanation is, however, necessary:1 How can there possibly be a revelation of the name Havayah that transcends time and space — i.e., a revelation of [G‑d’s] infinite light — in this [material] world, [a world that is characterized by limitation and the concealment of G‑dliness]?

[To clarify the question in depth:] All existence was brought into being through the tzimtzum,2 which involves the concealment of [G‑d’s] light. [The intensity of] the revelation of [G‑d’s] light [that existed before the tzimtzum] made it impossible for [limited] existence to come into being.3 It was only through the tzimtzum,which involves the concealment of G‑d’s light, [that such finite existence] was made possible. If so, how is it possible for [G‑d’s] infinite light to be revealed in our world, [which is characterized by concealment and limitation]?4

On the surface, [the following] resolution could be suggested: [that once the worlds were created, it is possible for them to receive the revelation of infinite G‑dliness]. To cite a parallel, Etz Chayim5 describes the manner in which the kav6 was drawn down after the tzimtzum: At the outset, Or Ein Sof, [G‑d’s] infinite light,7 filled the entire cavity8 and there was no place for the worlds to come into being. Afterwards, G‑d moved His great light to the side and drew down one short vector of light, [the kav].

Etz Chayim questions: Why was it first necessary to withdraw [G‑d’s] light entirely [— withdrawing the light of the kav as well(for it also existed before the tzimtzum) —] and then drawing down the light of the kav again? Seemingly, since [the light] of the kav was later drawn down intotheworlds, why was it necessary for it to have been withdrawn at the outset? [On the surface, G‑d] could have withdrawn the remainder of His light, [i.e., His infinite light,] and left the light of the kav.

Etz Chayim resolves these questions, explaining that since [the light of the kav] is a revelation of the [infinite] light (that shined before [the tzimtzum]), [were it not to have been withdrawn,] it would have been impossible for the worlds to come into existence.9 It is only after the light [that existed before the tzimtzum — both G‑d’s infinite light and the kav —] was withdrawn entirely that the worlds came into being. After they came into being, it was possible for the light of the kav to be drawn down to them without their existence being nullified.

On the surface, one might say a similar concept applies to drawing down G‑d’s infinite light that [will be revealed in the Ultimate Future: In order for the existence of the limited worlds within the Spiritual Cosmos10 to come into being, it was necessary for this infinite light to be withdrawn,] but once these worlds came into being, it is possible for G‑d’s infinite light to be drawn into them.

In truth, however, the comparison is not at all appropriate, for Etz Chayim is speaking about the light of the kav which [it describes as] “a short vector,” i.e., the limited dimension of Or Ein Sof. Hence, [after the tzimtzum,]it is possible for this light to shine within the worlds.11 Here, by contrast, the focus is on Or Ein Sof as it filled the cavity, i.e., the unbounded dimension of Or Ein Sof. It is difficult to understand, [as stated above,] how this light can be drawn down into worlds whose entire existence came into being through the tzimtzum.

[To clarify and] intensify the question: The revelation of the infinite dimension of Or Ein Sof12 appears to be a motif reflecting the [polar] opposite of tzimtzum. [This is not to say that the revelation of this light and its withdrawal is, Heaven forbid, a conflict of two opposing forces. Instead, it is the result of a difference in G‑d’s will.] For the revelation of [G‑d’s] light Above is not like the revelation of light from the sun, because the sun is compelled, as it were, to reveal its light.13 Above, by contrast, [G‑d’s] revelation of light comes as a result of His will, i.e., before the tzimtzum, G‑d desired14 that there be a revelation of light, that His power of revelation would overpower His power of concealment, and that [His] unbounded dimension would overpower His limited dimension. For [G‑d’s power of concealment and limitation existed] before the tzimtzum as well. Since [the Ein Sof is the ultimate of perfection,] just as He possesses an infinite dimension, [expressed by the infinite light that shined before the tzimtzum], He possesses a finite dimension,15 [expressed by the tzimtzum and concealment of that light].

The revelation of Or Ein Sof filled the cavity because there was a desire that His dimension of revelation should be supreme. Afterwards, the tzimtzum occurred because He desired that His dimension of limitation would overpower His unlimited dimension. Even when He “shined forth a short vector of the light” after the tzimtzum, it is not that there was a desire for the power of revelation to become supreme [again]. For in addition to the fact that the kav was drawn down as “a short vector,” i.e., a limited light, it was also drawn through the tzimtzum,and the manner in which the kav was drawn down shows the effect of the tzimtzum.16

Thus since the tzimtzum and the revelation of the infinite dimension of Or Ein Sof are two opposites, [the original question remains]: How is it possible for there to be a revelation of the infinite dimension of Or Ein Sof within the framework of existence brought into being by the tzimtzum, for this represents the fusion of two opposites?